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Black Hills - AZT #14
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mini location map2015-01-24
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Black Hills - AZT #14Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 24 2015
Hiking12.11 Miles 1,499 AEG
Hiking12.11 Miles   6 Hrs   34 Mns   2.52 mph
1,499 ft AEG   1 Hour   46 Mns Break
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Northbound Tucson Wash to Camp Grant Wash The Arizona Trail Section Crew got together with K&K to do this 3 car shuttle to hike AZT 14 in 2 1/4 days for us and K&K added on Section 12 and 13. K&K left their car at Freeman road and got a ride up Mt Lemmon Highway to finish off 12. The Section Crew carpooled down leaving one vehicle at Camp Grant Wash via Capgage Wash and then we all met up at High Jinks Ranch. They call the Ranch rustic but we called it luxurious rustic. We had dinner at a new restaurant Shawn had heard of called It was VERY good and we would end up eating their again on Sunday nite. Ambika was obsessed with the possibility of a 30" pizza.

We woke to a beautiful sunrise and had a tasty breakfast cooked by our host Dan. This place has a lot of history and it was great to hear some more of it. We did get a preliminary tour on Friday nite too. It was a very windy morning as we made the drive to Tucson Wash. It's an interesting drive when you get into the wash. Glad Shawn knew where to park as the nite before we overshot the spot up in Camp Grant Wash by a mile ;) .

For this northbound hike (makes our Kathy happy when we go the correct direction), after Karl herded the cattle out of the way, we would go along several ridgelines which seems to be the theme for this hike. And another recurring theme was hillsides covered in prickly pear cactus one time, sotol another and soap tree yucca scattered with sleeping bushes and trees. We did see some deer around the Pipeline Road intersection but they scattered pretty fast. I got one fairly decent picture just to prove we saw them. The other recurring theme was being able to look back toward the Catalinas and eventually the Rincons :) . Off to our right side was the long Galiuro Range.

Eventually we would see what looked like a large ant hill ahead. That hill is Antelope Peak and from all the trip logs I had read, we would eventually hike right by that :o though it seemed miles and miles away from here. The trail is in pretty good shape for the most part. You can see where they've either worked on it or are planning additional re-routes. Shawn knew of some ruins so we headed up a mountain to check them out. There is only foundations but wow, those are some views :y: from there! It was windy so we didn't linger long and it was each AZtrailer to themselves to get back down to the trail.

We could also see Kearney from time to time. You drive through Kearney if you are on the 77. I remember the first time I went thru there I exclaimed, "heh, this town is younger than me". We continued rolling up, down and around hills and through drainages. Before lunch we saw Mountain View Tank which holds 40,000 gallons of water. Seems pretty impressive for the desert. We would have lunch near one of those sandy drainages. A few of the endurance bikers passed through including Scott who had done some trail work with Shawn earlier in the week.

Speaking of trail work, we always try to do a little bit here and there by kicking rocks off the trail or moving debris. The kicking rock thing is always a bit tricky but I think we, well mostly Shawn's boots :) , do a pretty good job. Today we would even pick up garbage (mostly cans and bottles) off the road as we drove back to the highway. There were two of us from each side of the car. We didn't have too many miles left to finish off our hike as we got nearer the saguaro area. The soil color during this hike would change quite frequently too. In fact, in several places the hillside you just came off was blonde dirt while the other side was red.

Soon we see the car, always a relief and you know there's not much further to go. I was surprised how quickly and easily we came down over 700 feet from that last ridgeline to the wash as it seemed pretty steep but you wouldn't know it as you hiked it. We de-geared and helped a couple confused bike riders find where the trail crossed the wash; apparently that turn into Tucson Wash needs to be marked a little better for them. We had our celebratory drinks and chips enjoying the nice weather before getting 6 people and backpacks into the car.

And as I said we cleaned up stuff along the road from the corral to about Rio Camino Road where we turned right at the Bud Light box :lol: . We would use that box as our guide as we would be coming back and out of here one more time. I have to tell you though, with all that we gathered, the car was rattling with cans and bottles which brot on the discussion of the open container law which brot on the googling to look into this quandary closer :-k ; what if we get pulled over? By the way, we came in via Capgage Wash Road which according to Shawn was a much easier way than via Camp Grant. So thanks for scouting that out for us.

Video 1 from Tucson Wash to the Ruins [ youtube video ] ...
Video 2 from the Ruins to Camp Grant Wash [ youtube video ] ...

PS If you want to know how our car tricks went (thx to Shawn and Tracy for figuring that all out), check out my comment below Karl's trip log:
Throwing a Wendy
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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